Friday 23 March 2018

Unfinished business as 'Ballyhea Says Know' gets back on the road

On Sunday September 3 the 'Ballyhea Says No' group went back on the road once again, joined by MEP Luke Flanagan and homelessness campaigner Linda Fleming to complete some "unfinished business".

"We stopped our march last year after five years, believing we had done enough to call public attention to the bank debt issue. We were wrong," said Fiona Buckley.

"We are back on the road again at 10.30am on the first Sunday of each month. This time with a new slogan Ballyhea Says Know."

She said "we know that":

  • In 2014 our Central Bank destroyed €0.5 billion;
  • In 2015 our Central Bank destroyed €2 billion;
  • In 2016 our Central Bank destroyed €3 billion;
  • In 2017 our Central Bank will destroy €4 billion (has already destroyed €3 billion);
  • Over the next several years, the Central Bank will destroy a further €20 billion.

These figures are courtesy of a reply to a Parliamentary Qestion by Michael McGrath TD.

"That's ten thousand million euro going to be destroyed by our Central Bank in just four years, the direct legacy of the bailout through the issuance of government Promissory Notes of two insolvent, non-systemic banks, Anglo Irish Bank and INBS," said Fiona.

She said these billions of euro have been borrowed by our National Treasury Management agency. "Billions on which we are already paying interest, Billions that will have to be repaid at some date in the future when they all mature. Billions that were already in the government kitty, available to be spent as they saw fit."

Fiona said these billions could be spend on social housing, thus addressing the homelessness crisis; on health, addressing hospital waiting lists; on infrastructure, addressing problems on roads, railways, trams, buses, broadband - "or any of the myriad of problems this country faces".

Fiona said the Ballyhea group was campaigning to draw attention to this and to "push government to challenge this odious debt with the ECB".

"The first step along that road is an application by the group to appear before the Finance Committee to outline in greater detail all of the above, and to protest the acceleration of the destruction of all those borrowed billions," she said.

Last Sunday the group was joined by TDs Catherine Murphy and Paul Murphy, with TD Joan Collins and others set to join them in November.

"What was done to Ireland by the Troika was wrong, a fact subsequently accepted by the IMF. It's up to us to right that wrong. As Catherine Murphy said on Sunday last, it isn't just this generation that will be paying the price of this bank bailout, it's the our children, and their children," said Fiona.

"There's only one way to change this legacy - challenge it. We are appealing to the people of North Cork and of South Limerick to join us in our campaign."